Tag Archive: inferior

Education As a Form of Rebellion

I think one of the biggest ideas which Mary Shelley introduced in her novel Frankenstein that enriches Jessica Rae Fisher’s views on transgender rage and kindness is the idea that knowledge and education hold power and through education/knowledge, one possesses the strongest and most necessary tool someone can use to stand up for themselves in society. Susan Stryker acknowledges this idea in her essay “My Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix” as well and my biggest response, and advice, to Jessica would be that through continuing to be educated she can and will go much further than her oppressors and bullies. Through education she will learn the proper tools to fight back and she can use her rage to fuel her thirst for knowledge and eventually, settle her place in society. With something so simple, such as being knowledgeable, a person can rebel in a kind manner and this is something I think Stryker was trying to argue for in her essay as well.

One thing I have always personally believed is that education is power and it will be the difference between a naive view and sense of the world compared to an educated person’s who would view the world through a truthful lense. The creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a perfect representation of this long held belief. When the creature is first created, and he sets off into society on his own, he does not know what his place in society is or even what he is. Victor Frankenstein’s abandonment lead the creature to be uneducated and without any proper sense of the world he was forced to be a part of. However, through his finding of famous works – such as Milton’s Paradise Lost – and by observing the cottagers, the creature was then able to self-educate himself  and he was able to learn about the proper way humans are meant to interact and teaches himself not to accept the improper treatment he had encountered before. Stryker states in her essay, “The monster accomplishes this resistance by mastering language in order to claim a position as a speaking subject and enact verbally the very subjectivity denied it in the specular realm.” (241) She is demonstrating that because the creature pursued his desire of knowledge he was able to create a resistance for himself because he then leveled himself with the rest of society and was able to use it to his full advantage to eventually be on top of those who oppressed him. In the novel, it was always in the creature’s intention to learn and educate himself in order to roam within society without fear and this is seen in the novel when the creature states, “I ought not to make the attempt until I had first become master of their language; which knowledge might enable me to make them overlook the deformity of my figure” (104). In this part of the novel, I concluded that Shelley was trying to argue that the way to be able to stand up for yourself within society is through knowledge. No one is ever able to take away the education and knowledge that is bestowed upon yourself and therefore, education demands respect and acknowledgement from other members of society. If a person is educated and is willing to use it to their advantage and as a tool to grow, then society can never make them feel inferior and that is something I would remind Jessica of.  

Overall, I think Jessica Rae Fisher can use her education and her willingness to grow as an individual to her full advantage just as the creature was able to throughout Frankenstein. The creature in the novel was able to highlight the issues that existed within his society after he was able to communicate and understand everything that was wrong in the first place. He would have never had a voice to do so had it not been for his desire to learn and his will to be an educated member of society. Once he had the knowledge he desired, he was able to critique the people among him and express his concerns – and I think that is exactly what Jessica has been doing but should continue to do. I believe that the only way people are going to learn is by being reminded of, and being called out on, the problems they are provoking. By the end of the novel the readers are able to see how Frankenstein and the creature are then considered equals and they parallel one another thus showing that with education one can soon overcome those with power over them. I think the idea of letting rage fuel someone’s desire to learn, and using knowledge and education as a kind way of rebelling, is very important and it is a proper way for people in any LGBT community to rebel against a society that makes them feel inferior.

-Beverly Miranda-Galindo

By Carmen Ibarra

While reading Mary Wollstonecraft’s article, Justine’s reaction towards her own death, in the novel Frankenstein, began to make more sense to me. Wollstonecraft states that “You may have convinced them that littleness and weakness are the very essences of beauty..” pg 47 meaning that women who are inferior to men are the most desired. This made me think of when Justine was more focused on what everyone else thought about her and whether or not “God would condemn her to hell” than proving herself innocent.

However, it does make sense as to why nobody would believe her. First of all, she’s a woman, and second of all, she’s of a lower class. Justine would never be able to defend herself without being viewed as disrespectful or trying to revolt against the church. On top of that attempting to argue with a man was a huge “no”. It also makes me angry how Justine seeks for Frankenstein’s approval that she’s innocent and even to her death she still attempts to comfort everyone. Women were viewed as less of a human and so they were not taken seriously.

Blog Summary 2

The creature’s character is shaped around his feelings of inferiority that is shown through his ugliness and enhanced through a post-colonial understanding of the novel and the creature’s embodiment of the colonized. The creature is constantly being outcast from society based on his appearance. For example, when the cottagers first see him he recalls that “Agatha fainted; and Safie, unable to attend to her friend, rushed out of the cottage,” due to the sheer horror that his appearance provoked (Shelley 121). The creature desperately wants the cottagers and others around him to overlook his deformity but no one is able to. No one wants to be around the creature or associate with  him. The creature’s hideous appearance causes him to be treated as inferior to others.

By analyzing the creature’s character from a post-colonial critical perspective, he is viewed as the colonized subaltern. He is created under Frankenstein’s own will and is given very few choices in his life. . The lack of sympathy for the creature parallels the lack of sympathy that colonizers feel for the colonized. The creature learns about the world through hearing about other people’s experiences rather than living his own. Before telling his story he prefaces it with the words, “I shall relate events, that impressed me with feelings which, from what I had been, have made me what I am,” (Shelley 106). This indicates the creature’s realization that he has been shaped from the experiences of others. His position as symbolic of the colonized further emphasizes the feelings of inferiority that he is faced with. Then, the creature “wept with Safie,” implying his ability to sympathise with the “hapless fate” of the colonized. This suggests that the creature is able to relate to the colonized, presenting him as a symbol of the colonized and the subaltern.

            In the end, once the creature has realized his inferiority, the creature rebels and becomes extremely violent, causing multiple deaths. Dr. Frankenstein describes the creature’s delights as in “death and wretchedness,” (Shelley 146). He does this as a reaction to feeling powerless and judged. This serves as a critique of leading others to believe that they are inferior, based both off of their appearances or their position as the colonized. The creature’s feelings of inferiority and their negative consequences not only for him but for people around him critiques both physical judgment and colonization.